*Abridged* V-Day Special!

Happy Valentine’s Day~! 💛

If you’ve been following my blog for even a year, you’ll know that V-Day is something I take quite seriously. It has become tradition for me to book off an entire weekend to marathon anime (usually a classic, or something with several parts, such as films, OVAs, etc.) and enjoy quality time with myself.

Well, in lieu of binging an entire series as a challenge to myself (as I’m quite short on time due to my M.A. exam mid-March), I’ve decided to return to Evangelion.

And I’m sure this comes as literally zero surprise to anyone.

I’ve got tasty treats, a comfy couch, and my Funimation Blu-ray of Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo. all lined up for me to enjoy this Tuesday evening! I always enjoy an Eva rewatch, but I’m especially partial to 3.33 during this season of love because it’s when I first watched it back in February 2016. Once more, time to relive the nostalgia and bittersweet promises that this title brings to me.

I hope you’re all spending V-Day doing something you love, whether that’s with someone or watching Eva for the hundredth time like me. I’ll be doing a TRUE marathon after my March exam, likely Trigun since it’s what people are talkin’ about these days (plus I’ve had the Anime Classics DVD for YEARS just gathering dust). Please look forward to it!

That’s all for now—stay sweet, and ‘til next time!

– Takuto

EVERYDAY EVA: 3.0+1.0 – The Joy of Evangelion | Mecha March

Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022! This NEW segment dives into the films of the hit sci-fi franchise.

Shinji, shocked into despair at Kaworu’s death, slowly starts to move forward thanks to friends both old and new. Finally, his nostalgia, spirit, and tragedy will lead him to joy.

Over the course of this long journey spanning almost three decades, Evangelion has traversed some of the rockiest terrain imaginable in an industry like anime. Personal struggles, conflicts between creatives, production issues like budgeting only scratch the surface of Eva’s rough past. Why someone would want to write a new ending for their work not once but twice more after completing the original can only come down to one primary influence—the fanbase, and oh boy does Eva also have a tough one of those. You won’t be able to make everyone happy with your work. But, people like Anno sure try to test that ideal. So here we are at the very end of a new saga for Eva with Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, a film has the rare challenge of attempting to tie up two daunting legacies with a conclusive third ending. And given the highly probable odds of failure, Anno really outdoes himself with the finale of the Rebuild.

Beginning with structure, 3.0+1.0 borrows much from 3.33 in its attempt to flesh out the bleak, red world that Earth has become since Shinji started the Fourth Impact. (I’ll skip the opening sequence because I already discussed the first 12 minutes of the film here!) Asuka leads Shinji and Rei to where they can be taken to Village 3, and for the next 45 or so minutes, we primarily shadow Rei Q as she tries to find purpose before inevitably “expiring” (which results from being disconnected to NERV’s life support systems). This entire segment of the film offers some of the most beautiful, wholesome moments in Eva. Rei explores the value of living in natural aspects like farming crops, working up a sweat, and raising children—efforts which she eventually reports to the boy she likes. Asuka, meanwhile, attempts to sustain Shinji’s nourishment and physical well-being by dealing with his depression in her usual passive-aggressive way. But it’s almost more like a mother tending to her pouting children, an analogy that Asuka herself makes when she says, “He doesn’t need a lover. He needs a mother.”

I think this dynamic is perfect for showing how much they have changed, too. Rei’s endeavor to become more human are contrasted by Asuka’s phasing off of humanity. After all, she’s part Angel now; she doesn’t have the same base urges and desires that the Lilin do, hence her lack of embarrassment for walking around half or full naked at Kensuke’s place. Speaking of, Kensuke, Tohji, and Hikari are back!! It feels super weird to interact with them following the timeskip, but their characters, too, seem more complete now that we see how they reacted to N3I and Fourth Impact. They were the ones who kept on rolling with the punches, who stayed optimistic even as the world ended, and now they’ve found peace in helping improve the lives of others. They’re a special trio, much like our pilots.

I say trio as if that doesn’t include Mari—worry not, she’s still here, and just as mysterious and horny as ever. Reuniting with Mari on the Wunder takes us to the next 40-minute segment, which includes happy reunions, some not-so-happy reunions, a space battleship fight, a free-fall dive into a swarm of scary Mark.07s, and Asuka’s transformation into an Angel. I wish more personal interactions were recorded on the Wunder, especially between the crew or Shinji and Mari. As for the battleship chase, I love all of it. This isn’t an opinion shared by many, but it has such a cool and upbeat energy to it (largely thanks to the musical score used) that I simply can’t say no. It would’ve been nice if Ritsuko played a bigger part, for a showdown between Ritsuko and Fuyutsuki would’ve been legendary. Ritsuko is so underutilized in general, and the Paris Operation, while still exciting, lacks the personal tension between both NERV officers.

This leads me to the actual fights between the EVAs, which are simultaneously badass and wasteful. I’m still torn. Asuka and Mari’s free-fall combat against a SWARM of EVAs goes to show the ridiculous proportions the Rebuild has gone to. At the same time, Asuka’s fight against the EVA Series in EOE is easily two times more intense and impactful. (Not to mention features a fraction of the number of enemy combatants.) When I watch a lot of the combat in 3.0+1.0, my eyes kind of glaze over. Also, I hate how Asuka’s amazing sacrifice to become an Angel to take down Evangelion 13 is so quickly shut down. It’s such a bold power move on her part—a noble confrontation of fate—and I can’t help but find that her bravery was overshadowed by Eva 13’s very abrupt reawakening. This scene, like many others in the Rebuild, just did not last long enough for me.

Over the next 40-minute segment (see a pattern yet?) Shinji finally confronts Misato and Gendo, ironically the two parental figures in Shinji’s life at NERV, on the Wunder’s stern. Misato’s farewell to Shinji is too short. I wanted them to talk about so much more together, to embrace in bigger smiles and bigger tears and cry out their misunderstandings together. But alas, their confrontation is short and bittersweet.

On the other hand, Gendo’s explanation of the prophecies contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls (WHICH WE ACTUALLY GET TO SEE, THANK YOU ANNO) kicks off the road leading to the “Additional Impact,” a horrific shock to all of WILLE. This is where the Human Instrumentality Projects reaches fruition, and the world is changed once more. I like the metaphor of the headless Eva Infinities and the floating Rei head—it shows how Fourth Impact started the instrumentality process but not fully completed it, hence only the “heads” have merged as one (and why they are missing). EOE’s instrumentality is much more elegant, but 3.0+1.0’s feels more . . . optimistic? Black space becomes radiant gold light, white beams become rainbow—it’s as if Anno is trying to show us an inverse of his previous apocalypse, one marked by a true elevation of spirit.

And CG Rei? Yeah, it’s crazy as hell. Thus, it needs to stay if not for the sole purpose of making us say, “If EOE’s giant Rei was weird, wait until you get a load of this.” I was secretly hoping the final film would have something just like this in it. Godspeed, CG Rei.

As for “moralizing Gendo,” I think his fate is finely met. I do find it humorous how Gendo immediately cannot handle Shinji’s newfound self-love once their minds start merging. Here, we see the struggle and pain of the first half of the film start paying off. Shinji’s real weapon isn’t Unit-01, but rather his own self-esteem. Had Shinji not realized the important things that he did in Village 3—and had he not had with him all of his friends, old and new—Gendo’s ambitions likely would have swallowed Shinji whole. It could have been a very different outcome.

The last 15 minutes of the film are where emotions start running high for me. Shinji basically has to tell everyone that they will be okay in the real world, and that they don’t need something like instrumentality to fulfill themselves. I loved learning about Asuka’s brutal efforts to become the best Shikinami pilot, but what I loved even more was returning to that beach in EOE. It is so fulfilling to see Shinji admit the words he always meant to say to her. For Kaworu, I crumble to pieces when he says, “Our names are written beside one another in the book of life.” Instant tears. Kaji’s reappearance in memory here also makes me crave another film to explain the time gap, though time will tell. “Well, you’re the only one left,” Shinji says as he faces a sad Rei cradling a baby doll. If I wasn’t already teary eyed, this moment makes my heart break. It is only Shinji’s determination to push forward with “Neon Genesis” that can mend the emotional damage dealt.

And finally, Mari returns to Shinji just as she said she would, and together they end the story. I like to think that Shinji and Mari return to their world of Village 3 in the brown train car, and that the two people leaving the station are just manifestations of them both from Shinji’s instrumentality. (Because technically, he also has to undergo the process . . . theorists will hopefully find us a concrete answer.) Regardless, the film leaves off on a note of hope—of joy to the world, for the end has come.

Evangelion is a story of repetition, one in which the characters fight over and over again until the can make things right. It is the tale of the struggle to connect, even if bonds can be beautiful, painful things. At its core, it is the hymn of finding love for oneself—of finding purpose and atonement for our transgressions. “There is hope, there is always hope,” an angel once told a grieving young boy. And so this boy followed hope, sought the ties that bound him to others, and was able to reach a joy that he himself had suffered for. Eva is the story of cycles, but more crucially how those who break them can sometimes be blessed by the universe itself.

I wanted to dedicate this longer post for Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time because I realize I did not write a review or reflection for it following my first viewing. I couldn’t back then. It was too soon, too difficult for me to say “Eva is over” even if that is, in fact, a very good thing. With this post and all the writing I did for EVERYDAY EVA, I hope to preserve some of my fleeting thoughts as record for future me to look back on and laugh and cry and smile about how much an anime can mean to a person. There won’t ever be another series quite like Eva in my life, and, in part thanks to EVERYDAY EVA, I’ve become happily content with that fact.

If you stuck out EVERYDAY EVA until the end, or if you just now joined for the franchise’s final bow, I want to thank you for stopping by and checking out my work. Blogging every single day of the month for Mecha March has been an immense challenge—and an even greater joy. I plan to collect some project statistics and brief reflective notes into one last post, so please look out for that! Until then, thank you very much for reading!

– Takuto

EVERYDAY EVA: 3.33 – The Tragedy of Evangelion | Mecha March

Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022! This NEW segment dives into the films of the hit sci-fi franchise.

Following the cataclysmic pursuit of his desires, Shinji reawakens to an unfamiliar red world. The only shred of hope to be found lies with the boy from the moon.

As I write this post, I realize that I could talk A LOT about 3.33, probably more so than any of the other Rebuild films. For visual design, the film’s focus on crafting large open spaces for its tiny characters presents us with some of loneliest imagery in the entire franchise. Eva’s use of colors has also never been this meticulous. The cinematic 2.35:1 aspect ratio tells us that this is a departure from everything we once knew, visually and narratively. Much has changed in the world since Shinji assimilated with Unit-01 over 14 years ago. Many of these changes are unnerving and unexplained, forcing us to side with the cowardly hero for once and really sympathize with him (if we hadn’t already). 3.33’s theatrical game takes Eva to an entirely new level—one that will usher a unique visual aesthetic that becomes emblematic of the entire Rebuild series almost overnight.

Evangelion 3.33’s opening fires off with one of my all-time favorite action cutscenes in anime—and not because of the actual battle waging between EVA-02 and the Mark.04 series. It’s the kinetic energy of their skirmish, the manipulation of machine through the foreign terrain of zero gravity, as well as the ducking, swaying, and swerving that accompanies an EVA jettisoned by rocket boosters and reeled by inertia. The scene does little to establish theme or expectation for the remainder of the film, but it serves as a masterful display of using CG design and quick directive reflex. I’d argue as far as to say that everything Studio Khara had been doing up until this moment was for the purpose of sharpening 3.33 into a wholly unique experience in Eva’s history. This is where the artistic and story risks taken in the previous installments start to reap their rewards.

That said, I think the Wunder lift-off scene is entirely too long. If we’re going to talk about “wasting time” on Anno’s obsession with heavy machinery, we should be pointing to this sequence instead. My guess is that not many Eva fans are particularly fond of the Wunder. Certainly, I am not, though I do appreciate the god-slaying ark slightly more thanks to 3.0+1.0. (I’m still waiting for an official source to confirm for me that it is, in fact, a domesticated 11th Angel that was cloned three times, please and thanks.) Anyway, I still wish (as I do with the final film) that less time was wasted on flexing the Wunder’s combat capabilities and more was invested into precious character interactions or world building, both of which are sorely sparse beyond 3.33.

What I would also like to commend 3.33 for is its structure, however; the film charts out really well as a tragedy in three acts. The first 30 minutes are all action and reawakening which attempt to re-welcome us to the world we thought we knew. In the next 30 minutes, Shinji develops his attachment with Kaworu to replace his growing disillusionment with Rei. Finally, the last 30 minutes, Shinji revives his drive to pilot the EVA in the name of hope, encountering Asuka, Mari, WILLE, and Kaworu himself as he vows to change the world once more. A friend and lover is lost in the falling out of the climax, and all of Shinji’s previous resolve vanishes. In a kind of microcosm all to itself, 3.33 tells the entire rise and fall of the protagonist. Structurally, it’s a very sound film.

In building upon my opinion on Amazon Prime’s English dub, I should comment that the script Amazon offers is a near-perfect duplication of the script Funimation used! I remember part of the reason this film didn’t get released to the global audience until 3 years after its initial release in 2012 was because Khara was so stingy with the translation. (This makes sense, though, given how fans raged for years over the meaning of certain lines in EOE.) While I’m GRATEFUL that much of the same crew Funi used is back for the Amazon dub (including Sakura’s VA, wow!), it’s a shame (and an honor, I guess) that practically the same dub crew had to reopen old wounds and replicate their own work after all these years. Eva continues to have THE most convoluted production history, from developing the story and animating it to releasing the finished product into the global market.

Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo is a tragic experience not only because of how things turn out for Shinji, but also because, for nearly a decade, this was where the Rebuild story ended. Fans were left alongside Asuka, Shinji, and Rei wandering the red Earth until Misato and WILLE (“the Lilin”) eventually come to rescue them. The somber cry of Hikaru Utada’s “Sakura Nagashi” echoes into the black abyss of credits, and finally a [super shitty] CG preview with THE ugliest EVA designs attempts to hype us up for the finale that never came. To add insult to injury, we never got the satisfaction of seeing the 3.0 preview content at the end of 2.22 actually happen in this film. Although we imply the events still occur, it is frustrating that Anno gave us a preview for the final film that is significantly less true to the artistic vision it ended up being. Hasty preview work happens all the time in the entertainment industry, but again, THIS WAS THE ENDING of the great Rebuild of Evangelion for almost 10 whole years. That’s 10 years too long if you ask me.

By the end of 3.33, many questions still linger about the 14 years that transpired prior to. What we do receive, though, is one of the most fraught and sorrowfully resonant arcs in all of Evangelion played out on an extraordinary, high-budget, theatrical stage. It is, to me, the most artistic film in the Rebuild, and the one I always come back to whenever I think about the new films. Come the next and final installment, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time will conclude the third retelling of Shinji Ikari’s fate—and the grand drama that has been unfolding for the past 26 years. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the end!

– Takuto

EVERYDAY EVA: 2.22 – The Spirit of Evangelion | Mecha March

Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022! This NEW segment dives into the films of the hit sci-fi franchise.

Shinji Ikari’s story reaches a “break” in the path, and the added drama of new pilots and Angels alike snowballs into his heroic decision to protect the one he loves.

Following the electric energy of Shinji and Rei’s showdown with the 6th Angel in 1.11, Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance comes along to once again change the entire dynamic of the story with heightened character drama, accelerated action, dynamic animation, and thrilling twists. It is the Rebuild film that, for many fans, invites back the “spirit of Eva” when everyone was operating at their peak. (Compare to NGE episodes 8-12.) In this leg of the race, Shinji continues to pilot and grow closer to Rei, yet the reintroduction of a familiar face shakes their relationship to its core. That’s right, Asuka is BACK in town—redder than ever—and two times more fierce. With the full ensemble together again, NERV is ready to face the shocking developments that await in the next phase of the Rebuild.

Like her fellow pilots, Asuka plays a slightly different role than she did in NGE. In the classic series, her salvation came from the realization that her mother was with her in EVA-02 all along. Here, she finds contentment early on with Misato as a woman. This is a stark comparison from the series, especially given that Misato’s connection with Kaji was one of the major forces upsetting Asuka’s growth. Here, she decides to open up with another woman rather than close herself off—and this is perhaps one of the ways in which Anno is trying to narratively correct himself to rid Asuka of her significant depression from NGE. She’s still adamant to define herself as an EVA pilot, but given the stunning reveal in 3.0+1.0 that *SPOILERS* Asuka Langley Shikinami is, at least, a clone like Rei, it’s natural for her determination to advance as a person to outweigh her doubts. Thus, her motivation [to be the very best pilot soldier of the Shikinami-type batch] makes sense in the context of this new iteration, and we can continue to read her character differently with this aforementioned foresight.

Beyond the changes made to our brilliant red ace, Anno also introduces us to Mari Illustrious Makinami, a peculiarly enthusiastic pilot who hails from Euro NERV. I’m in the minority party who actually loves Mari’s character, but I know her presence continues to be a hot topic for debate. Given the large role she ends up playing in the final film, I wish she was featured in a few more interactions with Shinji or at least Asuka. She’s an intriguing personality in the world of Eva almost precisely because she doesn’t fall into the same cycles of self-hatred that seem to plague everyone else. If anything, she loves herself, and this prideful self-love provides a guiding light for Shinji and the others. (Although for now, she seems more of a meme than a serious concern.)

Being part of Anno and Khara’s reboot project, 2.22 boasts top-tier animation with luminescent colors and solid character and mechanical design. It’s absolutely mind blowing how incredible this film looks. When I watched it 7 years ago, I thought it was one of the best-looking anime films ever—and that was 6 WHOLE YEARS after its initial release in 2009. Guys, 2009. Can you believe it? And it’s still an impressive piece of cinematic animation. The sheer artistic quality of 2.22 is no doubt an attest to Anno and his talented team.

I should also add a follow-up to my previous comment about Amazon’s English dub—it’s growing on me. Tiffany Grant really pulls the team’s weight with her reprisal as Asuka while everyone still somewhat struggles with delivering Khara’s stilted script. I do kind of like this more hyperactive and scratchy sounding Misato, though I’m not sure it rivals Allison Keith-Shipp’s take with Funi yet. Ritsuko’s new VA, Mary Faber, has also grown on me! However, Maya, Tohji, and Kensuke either sound a bit too low or too flat for me at times. Having the original Rei back is nice in its own way (the three Rei dub performances are each VASTLY different), and the newcomer for Mari is absolutely selling the part. FUN FACT: As of last November, I now own a print signed by Amanda Winn Lee (Rei), Deneen Melody (Mari), and my queen Tiffany Grant (Asuka)!!!

Evangelion 2.22 is arguably most fans’ favorite entry in the Rebuild series, and for good reasons. It expands on Shinji Ikari’s story while simultaneously offering an unexpected departure from the original material. As per being the “Break” in the tracks, the drama is rich, the characters are complex, and the lore of the Rebuild proves bitingly captivating on its own. All we need now is for something truly startling to drive a shaft through all of our original preconceptions of the story. Oh wait . . . that’s exactly what happens next.

In the third film, Evangelion: 3.33 You can (Not) Redo, we are tossed into a world that is entirely unfamiliar to us. At first, it seems as if everything 2.22 tried to build up falls apart in an instant. Over a decade passes, and as Shinji loses sight of his path upon reawakening in a way that is more detrimental than ever, Gendo’s dark plan only continues chart itself. These are exciting challenges to our reality that we will have to confront together. Thanks for reading, and ‘til then!

– Takuto

EVERYDAY EVA: 1.11 – The Nostalgia of Evangelion | Mecha March

Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022! This NEW segment dives into the films of the hit sci-fi franchise.

The first epic film in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy sets the groundwork for an entirely new story to come.

God, I love this film.

For the longest time, this movie was not only my favorite piece of the Evangelion franchise, but also my favorite film in general. It came to me at a time when I was at a low in life, and the rewarding sensation of unwrapping the plastic of the Blu-ray immediately after finishing The End of Evangelion for the first time remains one of my most cherished memories. It retells Shinji’s origin leading up to the intensely charged fight with Ramiel, and I remember reeling in the surprises that the Rebuild was setting up for this new groundwork—the different numbers for the Angels, Misato’s showing of Lilith to Shinji, the world eroded by mysterious damage (presumed to be fallout from EoE, but more on theories later), and the crimson sea that now covers the Earth. If you go straight into Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone. from NGE (like I did then and always do now), you’ll find yourself in a world freshly redesigned—yet still charmingly Eva.

However much of a masterpiece I still think this film is, I have resigned to the fact that, compared to the films that follow, the pacing errs on the slower side. (And that’s really saying something, given that only ~20 min of content are cut from making this a 1:1 rehash of the first FULL 6 episodes!) Really, I only notice it lagging when I’m watching it with other people, specifically right before and after the fight with the now designated “5th” Angel fight. (My consciousness wanders to overthinking about others’ own perceptions . . . does this happen to anyone else?)

All of the prep work leading up to the climax remains stellar, though. Watching the lights fade across Japan as the ludicrous amount of heavy machinery whirls away to the faint purple aura of the night is truly a sight to behold. I like Eva when it obsesses over technology like that. You definitely can tell where Anno has left his mark, as 1.11 especially is saturated in his signature style. Cloaked in the darkness, Misato and Ritsuko pray that the operation goes smoothly, and Shinji and Rei share a unique exchange with one another. The rest, then, is history—but not before Anno decides to make Shinji muster his courage to fire that positron rifle a second time. He’s already shaping up to be more heroic than NGE ever allowed him to be.

As the start of Shinji Ikari’s new theatrical story, 1.11 harnesses all of the cherry nostalgia and glowing fondness that I still cherish from my first experience with Eva in 2015. In fact, it was the striking logo of the film that initially caught my attention so many years ago, the title itself shrouded in curious mysticism. I’m forever thankful to 1.11 for inviting me to Shinji’s world.

By the way, for the EVERYDAY EVA, I decided to pursue the recently distributed English dubbed version on Amazon Prime since it’s the only version of Eva that I’ve yet to watch through in its entirety. My initial thoughts? Not a huge fan. Misato is more chipper than ever (which could be a plus for many), but everyone’s dialogue comes across as awkward—no thanks to Khara for sending the dubbing team their uber stilted script. Still, it’s the reality we must unfortunately face. I still dream that Funimation would snag the final film and complete what I personally find to be THE best dub (casting and scripting) of Eva, but with their licenses to the other films not being renewed—PLUS the entire company shifting around with all the Sony/Crunchyroll business—I’m not sure it’s even feasible anymore. At least most of the old dub crew is back in the cockpit one last time.

The plot picks up significantly in Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance, which is somewhat ironic given the title. “New” characters are introduced, including Asuka, Kaji, and a strange pilot from NERV’s Euro branch, Mari. Shaking up Shinji’s life, their combined presence ushers in what I like to call the “true spirit of Eva.” More action, drama, and mystery await, as well as several novel departures from the classic story we know and love (or hate—I won’t judge). Thanks for reading, and ‘til then!

– Takuto

Reflecting on the Rebuild of Evangelion Before 3.0+1.0’s Release


Hey guys, I’m back with a different kind of anime-related video. As you know, Evangelion has had a profound effect on my life, and I’m absolutely stoked to ring in the end of this epic franchise spanning over 25 years with Hideaki Anno’s final big Evangelion film in the Rebuild series, Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time, which will be released globally on Amazon Prime in matter of hours!

But first, we gotta reflect back on the three masterpiece films that precede 3.0+1.0, which would be Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, and the most divisive of all, Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo.

I love the Rebuild films. This is a video recapping my emotions toward them, as well as my hopes for what the true end of Evangelion will bring!

Interested in more anime, manga, or K-pop content? Subscribe to stick around 🙏

Thanks for watching~!

– Takuto

Evangelion 3.0+1.0’s First 12 Minutes: Thoughts on The End || Cafe Talk

The end is nigh—care to share any thoughts before the curtain closes on Evangelion?

Hey guys!

In the wake of Evangelion 3.0+1.0’s big screen debut which is set for tomorrow, March 8th, Studio Khara streamed the first 12 minutes, 10 seconds, and 10 frames of the highly anticipated final Rebuild film on their official YouTube channel. At its high, nearly 150,000 viewers were live watching the YouTube premiere (the Amazon Japan live also had a huge turnout), and I was one of them.

As a fan whose life has been irreversibly impacted by the legendary anime giant that is Eva, I felt compelled to discuss some of my thoughts on what the final film will be about, as well as express my hopes for the finale of this historic franchise.

Naturally, some spoilers for the previous films may be brought up. You have been warned!

While the action-packed opening of 3.0+1.0 displays the talents of Khara’s remarkable animators and sound design staff, it does little else to cue us about the plot. Except for showing us a glimpse of outside world that is now stained red as a direct result of 3.0’s Fourth Impact, we still don’t have much in the way of an established story.

Maybe it’s just self-assumed to many fans (including myself) that this opening scene is set up to invite us back to the world of Eva with exciting action first, plot later. And that is completely fine. I shouldn’t be judging this massive 155-minute long film on these first 12ish minutes alone.

Oh that’s right, in case you didn’t know, 3.0+1.0 is set at 2 hours 35 minutes. This is amazing news, given the relatively short runtime of the third film, which was just 96 minutes. The recently announced runtime also brings me to my next theory.

As the name 3.0+1.0 might indicate, I believe that this film will be divided into two parts: the climactic resolution to 3.0, and the return back to the world of 1.0, where the story will finally conclude. Many theorists speculate (based on recent PV content) that we will either be traveling back in time, or somehow revisiting and “redoing” the initial events of the Rebuild.

It’s crazy to think that Eva could have this element of time travel, but it’s not implausible. If anything, this will only cement the original message of the Rebuilds: That Evangelion is a story of repetition, one in which the characters fight over and over again until the can make things right. It’s a romantic sentiment, and I hope the final film commits to this noble purpose pitted by the equally optimistic (if slightly dreary) End of Evangelion.

If the 1.0 segment of the film does in fact shoot for this round table conclusion, then the first 3.0 half will feature high-octane action sequences and earth-shattering reveals about the events which took place between 2.0 and 3.0. Why does Wille and Misato hate Shinji if they are the ones who initially cheered him on to cause Second Impact? What happened to Kaji? And who the heck is Mari??

With the latest 12-minute premiere, we can now confirm that the Until You Come To Me short film is 100% canon—this is a huge step toward some answers. The third film raised a lot of questions about where the story is going, while the first film made fans curious as to why their beloved world of Tokyo-3 was different from the start of the Rebuild. Resolutely, 3.0+1.0 will aim to answer all of our burning questions. Or so, we hope.

Lastly, and if this wasn’t obvious from the start, but I believe Shinji will finally find happiness in himself—not just satisfaction with the idea of eventually being happy, but truly, confidently experiencing this joy for the first time. And that’s how the film will end—with the efforts to revisit the past (or the start another iteration), and the heroics of Shinji as he decides to pilot the robot from the start. The hero defeats all of the Angels, including the final Angel, Tabris (or Kaworu-kun), and the curtain closes on his smiling face.

From the start, this Rebuild story was never really about the other characters, just Shinji. As much as this saddens me, we’ve known this. Anno has told us this in several interviews. It’s Shinji Ikari’s story.

And tomorrow, it ends!

Congratulations Shinji—You are going to be fine! Keep fighting, and win happiness for yourself! We are all rooting for you!

I do hope very sincerely that we somehow get a legal streaming of the film before everyone in Japan spoils the film’s story for us! Some speculate that Amazon may be streaming it, at least Amazon Japan, but we’ll see what happens. And hopefully a physical release will come sooner rather than later—if Funimation doesn’t get to release it for us, my heart might just break!

What are your thoughts on 3.0+1.0? This will be the third time that Hideaki Anno paints an ending for Evangelion, and despite the controversies, I’ve enjoyed every single interpretation. The franchise has give me so much personal hope and fascination over its world, characters, and story. The fact that it’s finally coming to an end is scary and satisfying at the same time. Anyway, share your thoughts below, and let’s enjoy a conversation over some coffee. Thanks for reading, and ‘til next time!

Bye bye, all of Evangelion!

– Takuto

The End of EVA-Week: Voicing CONCERN for the Rebuild | Cafe Talk

Hello cafe-goers, welcome to cafe talk, a segment where I ramble and you are more than welcome to ramble with me! Today’s post is the last one (for some of you thinking, thank goodness he’s done) concerning my recent EVA-Week, a celebration centering around the official English release of Evangelion 3.33. I hope you have enjoyed what has come out, and I ask you to join me on this last little voyage to Tokyo-3 for the foreseeable future . . . maybe . . . ?

TheRevisit calender (2)

Here is the calendar on my board. I’ve been filling in the days with their respective colors as they pass.

This goes more along with my 3.33 review which was recently posted. I thought dividing this into two parts would tremendously help cut down on the word count (it is so far the largest post on this blog)! This comprehensive aftermath will also explain the mindset I currently have with both Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild, so SPOILERS EXIST FOR ALL OF THE EVANGELION FRANCHISE.

Three groups of people exist when it comes to the franchise, and here are my thoughts on them:

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as its own series of 4 stand-alone films.

Stand-alone meaning that I could watch 1.11, not look back, and be satisfied with what I got; the film should be able to support itself without additional knowledge like most movies. I’ll admit, this method works fairly well for 1.11 and I dare say 2.22 if you decide to overlook the last ten or so minutes. With 3.33, this all falls apart – and NOT because of the 14-year gap. I was honestly thrilled when Anno decided to take such a ballsy risk, and it would’ve worked if

A) the events between the gap were explained by the end (Shinji’s confusion is decently handled, so putting it at the beginning would be all for not);

and B) The mental states of each character, not just Shinji, were further delved into. This viewpoint, I believe, is defunct due to the lack of both of these. Sadly, 3.33 just doesn’t stand by itself no matter how you look at it (my review will further explain why).

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as its own singular story, requiring knowledge of all 4 films.

This interpretation kinda piggy-backs off of the first, but in more of a coherent fashion. It is comparable more to a series, in that imagine if you watched the films back-to-back in one long slew (taking out credits, disc switches, etc.). This helps support the idea that the third leg of a four-person race is most tiring, complex, and occasionally (if you already assume how it’ll end), most climactic. I swam the 100-yd free, which is down-back-down-back. Without a doubt, that second down is the hardest part, as you have to manufacture your own adrenaline rush. For ROE, this means that 3.33 decides to take a more emotional approach and build up to the “beginning of the end,” much like a typical plot diagram. Still, this method lacks explanations for the unreasonable character motives and those deep psychological treats we savored in NGE. This viewpoint will be defunct should the last film present itself similarly to 3.33 or add nothing “new” like 3.33 did (I say “new” lightly, as causing the Fourth Impact isn’t something to just shrug off).


  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as a rehashing of the original series, and believe elements between the two stories are interchangeable or that the Rebuild continues the story . . . somehow.

This is the wacky one. 1.11 is basically an exact copy of the first six episodes of NGE, only introducing Lilith earlier, showing off the red sea and the corpse outline on the hill, and sliding down the Angel appearance count by one – That’s it. It’s a wonderful remake of the original and deserves more appreciation. 2.22 is the break, the deviation. We get Asuka, but less Asuka (her name is even changed, WTF). Rei is kickin’ out hormones like crazy. Misato fails to tell her own story. Ritsuko is sidelined. Mari has little purpose other than to contrast against the others and be different. It’s a high-quality film, just a little lacking in the character department (nothing that the remaining two films can’t fix, right?). Then 3.33 comes along and breaks the flow. This is Anno’s different route, and unless that theory about the Rebuild being a successor to The End of Evangelion is trueThat it might all be a “dream,” another world route, or a chance to redo the past – then this is what we get. This viewpoint FORGIVES EVERYTHING that the Rebuild has caused thus far, as we fans can just plug n’ chug the backstories and memories, but should this fantastical theory prove false then this viewpoint is defunct as well. It is a well-constructed theory with much evidence, though. Then again, there’s the keyword. Theory.

I have much concern for this series, this franchise, at this point in time. Making 4.44, 3.0+1.0, Shin Evangelion Theatrical Edition 😐| – WHATEVER you want to call it – a masterful conclusion to the Rebuild series like The End of Evangelion was so many years ago is nearly impossible (unless something like option 3 happens, but it sounds all too easy). Its lack of characters which thought for themselves and had psychological issues that were conquered by individual experience and self-evaluation doesn’t even feel like the same Evangelion. And god dammit, SHOCK VALUE that receives no logical explanation is a SIN. Should the last film fail, ROE will be remembered as a series loaded with Grade A+ animation and soundtrack, a high-powered story full of twists and turns, and an emotional ride for some that found their calling with it. But hardly will you hear them say, “That doctor chick with the blond hair was an excellent character full of dynamic and emotional struggle,” because kid, the Rebuild‘s Ritsuko Akagi is not such a powerful woman.


Here is EVERYTHING referenced throughout The Revisit of Evangelion, or EVA-Week. It is mainly here as a compilation for me to look back on and remember all the fun times we had. You’re more than welcome to browse the menu and comment/reminisce with me 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day: You Are (Not) Alone

Neon Genesis Evangelion Review

The End of Evangelion Review

Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone. Review

Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. Review

The Revisit of Evangelion: We Have Begun Third Impact | Cafe Talk

Evangelion’s Rebirth isn’t so Sweet after this Disposable Death | Review

THIS IS WHY WE CAN (NOT) REDO | Comprehensive Review

ATTENTION: 2 More Treats EVA Fans Might Have Missed!

The End of EVA-Week: Voicing CONCERN for the Rebuild | Cafe Talk

This concludes the EVA-Week celebration here at the cafe . . I’m starting to get emotional now, trying to hold back the tears! If you stuck around to read, like, or even comment with your own meaningful thoughts once, I thank you! This series means a lot to me, to many of us, and we just want to see it do well – So damn well we cry our eyes out and meld into the proverbial sea of life. Do you have any similar thoughts on the subject, or are you completely indifferent and just watch it for the giant robots? How do you prefer to interpret the Rebuild? Any other interpretations?? Let me know so we can party hard in the comments! Thanks for celebrating this joy with me, and may the inevitable conclusion of a lifetime rock our world!~

– Takuto, your host

I’m gonna be humming “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” “Beautiful World,” and “Canon in D” for the next several weeks, aren’t I. . .

ATTENTION: 2 More Treats EVA Fans Might Have Missed!

Hello Evangelion fanboys and fangirls, it would appear that EVA-Week is nearing its inevitable end. But don’t worry, if you’re not already sick of me going on and on about this series, here are two treats to the franchise you might have glossed by. After all, they are only a few minutes apiece.

Gosh, I’m starting to sound like a teacher emailing his students the latest assignments . . . I thank Wikipedia pages for helping me with this one!

Evangelion: Another Impact (CONFIDENTIAL)

This was an anime short project from Studio Khara and the media company Dwango. It was, like everything else, directed by Hideaki Anno, but produced by Joseph Chou and Tomohiko Ishii. Released on February 6, 2015, the website of the project describes the plot as follows:

“Another time, another place. An activation test of a decisive weapon was underway. With its development and operational trials shrouded in complete secrecy, the Another Number – Unit Null, suddenly breaks free of human control and goes berserk. For what purpose was Another Number – Unit Null created?

The story of an Evangelion’s activation, rampage and howling in another world.”

Supposedly it’s cannon, but I don’t think that was the intent. The project was meant to see what Evangelion looked like in realistic CG animation, and you know what? IT LOOKS HELLA COOL!! You don’t even have to be a fan of the series to enjoy this EPICNESS! Just enjoy the little clip:

This is the full thing, HD quality, though there is a voiceover in another language.

For those English buds who need the translation, here it is with subs, though in lower quality.


Evangelion: until You come to me.

Now this one was specifically directed by Anno and released with more serious intent and style. It was an entry in the 2014 Animator Expo, and is designed as a sort of prelude/possible 3.0+1.0 hype/just-for-art for the Rebuild series, specifically set after 3.33 as it had “emotionally drained him.” The background song is Shiro Sagisu’s rendition of the popular Irish tune, “Danny Boy.”

You’ll have to click on this link to watch it:


Don’t get parts of it? All of it? Here is an excellent analysis which I encourage ALL EVA fans to watch REGARDLESS of having seen the original, as YouTuber GoatJesus does a wonderful job picking apart this piece of art and appreciating it for the sadness, beauty, and hope it inspires.


Had you seen either of these Evangelion shorts, or were you living under a rock like I was? I do hope you enjoy something out of this, whether it was the high-energy Another Impact or the more delicate, melancholic, emotionally-touching until You come to me. Both are more Evangelion, and both do it pretty damn well, providing not only new material but different medias the franchise can be viewed through. If you’d like to chat about any of it, drop me a comment below! Until the next and final EVA-Week post, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone. Review

Hideaki Anno had already captured the minds of millions when his most popular series Neon Genesis Evangelion was produced way back in 1995-1996. In 2007, he started the Rebuild of Evangelion, a series of movies that would reaffirm and branch off of the original series, hence, a rebuild. Today I’ll look at his first film, 1.0 (later to be released as a special edition, 1.11), and see if it meets his grand intent of pleasing fans and drawing in a wider audience with better visuals, music, and hopefully, an improved story.

2015. Tokyo-3 is the only remaining city in Japan after the Second Impact devastates the world. The lone city is not at peace, however, as gigantically scary extraterrestrial life forms known as Angels seek to exterminate the human race. As young boy who has not seen his father for over eight years, Shinji Ikari is called to NERV, an organization assembled to take down the Angels, where he will be piloting Evangelion Unit 01. Ikari’s father, the head of NERV, demands Shinji’s combat against the Angels; choose to not fight, and the already-injured and mysterious pilot 00 Rei Ayanami will be forced to. Getting himself into much more trouble than a robot fight, Evangelion 1.11 features the first three Angel clashes in remastered HD quality.

As far as changes go, this movie is almost an exact adaptation of the first eight or so episodes from the original series. As such you can check out my Neon Genesis Evangelion review here for a more in-depth review. The movie does a great job at recapping the old material, but of course, it drops quite a few scenes for time’s sake. Veterans of Evangelion might be disappointed with this, despite the new, incredibly detailing scenes that were added, but to newcomers it gets straight to the point.

The characters are also the exact same, with the exception of Shinji Ikari receiving less annoying dialogue. He just seems like a troubled 10 year-old instead of some rude brat when he refuses to fight at times.

For pacing, the show is rather rugged. It’s almost always on the edge of its seat, seeming like a string of intensity instead of a smooth-running film.

Another reason fans were let down was because it just didn’t feel like Eva. Everything is clear-cut and dialogue is cleaned up, making for fewer interpretive scenes and lessening the overall enigmatic effect. For unfamiliar people, this is a good thing, but for those who had seen the original, it doesn’t maintain the shady and “distorted” Evangelion quality.

I was pleased to hear that all of the main characters and some of the side were portrayed by the same English and Japanese voice actors. Props to FUNimation for the great dubbing!

The music is top-notch, though most of the tracks are just pulled from NGE. Model examples include “Decisive Battle” and “Angel Attack,” two of the main battle themes of the show. The ending, “Beautiful World” by Utada Hikaru, is simply a beautiful song, no joke. It was a cool way to end the film. I listen to it off and on as one of my alarms – it’s a great way to start the day!

Studio Khara revives the original series with amazingballz visuals! CG for the Angels, specifically the complete makeover of the 6th Angel (blue diamond one), is brilliantly done. Architecture is clean, for when Tokyo-3 goes into Angel alert, the sunrise combined with the colossal rising and falling buildings is a splendor. And of course, the Eva Units’ new computer graphics are glorious!

For a 2007 film, it easily rivals and surpasses most of the animated films of today. Fans will be pleased, as I was for sure. However, since it only encompasses the first quarter of the show, this will raise more questions than answers for newcomers to the franchise. Though it lacks footage and original atmosphere, Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone manages to be a great reaffirmation of the old anime, and masterful edition to the Evangelion series.

I hoped you enjoyed my quick few thoughts over the Rebuild of Evangelion’s first film! Drop a comment below if you had similar or different thoughts, because I love reading them ~ Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host